The Bunker Hill Associates this week said they have been able to make six or seven grocery deliveries to elderly adults in the Town who cannot go out for food, and it has all been done on the back of the most successful fundraisers – done fully online in fact – the 35-year-old organization has ever had.
President Maureen Collier, Vice President Jimmy Lister Jr. and Past President Kim Mahoney said the effort has brought the overall community together in ways they had never anticipated, and it’s also been able to serve a vulnerable population with much-needed supplies during COVID-19 response.
“The deliveries are going fairly well and we’re getting into a groove where the system is working very well,” said Lister. “We don’t want it to overwhelm the volunteers we have and we don’t want to overwhelm ourselves. We have a delivery going out today (Wednesday) and we have it set up to where it has become simple. We get on the phone and create the menu and then the delivery goes out.”
Collier said she has received a ton of feedback on the program, and it has all been positive. She said the purpose of the program was to help out the elderly – particularly those in large buildings – to be able to stay in and preserve their health.
“I think we’ve had positive feedback from the recipients,” she said. “They are very much appreciative of it because they can’t get out…I think back 35 years ago. My father was a founding member of the Associates. It was more of a small scale. A lot has changed in 35 years and now we’ve reached out to more of the community. I think this has brought the community together. We’ve received funding from all different parts of the Town and we’re getting funding from outside of the Town too. Our founders are probably looking down on us from Heaven and very happy.”
Mahoney stressed the program has become about so much more than the Associates as they are using a vast network of volunteers from the senior buildings, the Golden Age center and from the community. Even the Charlestown Youth Hockey Association and Charlestown Little League have reached out to offer help in delivering the groceries to private residences.
In fact, Lister said, there are so many volunteers that they don’t have enough opportunities for them to help out – which is a testament to the strength of commitment that has been built up in every part of the community.
“It never ceases to amaze us how generous people are,” said Mahoney. “In times of crisis, people rise to the occasion. That’s what the fabric of the community is about, whether you’ve lived here all your life or just moved in recently, people feel that energy in the Town and it comes natural to everyone to want to help. The people who contributed what they did is remarkable.”
And that’s the second part of the story.
The Associates have run many fundraisers in their 35 years, and most all of them are successful. The online restaurant raffle fundraiser has actually been the most successful operation they’ve ever had.
“It was beyond what we all expected,” said Lister. “The support we got was outstanding. It was probably the most successful fundraiser this organization has ever run.”
The Associates drew the raffle items last Friday, April 24. There were five, $800 restaurant gift cards provided by the organization, and The Anchor in the Navy Yard provided another gift card from its organization that the Associates matched for a sixth prize.
Lister said those who won accepted them in a very generous way.
“One raffle winner got a $200 gift card to Brewer’s Fork and wanted to donate it to first responders,” said Lister. “She had me take the card down to Engine 50 so they could buy dinner. They were extremely appreciative.”
The Friends of the Navy Yard donated prizes they won to the Ronald McDonald House, and a gift card to Pier 6 was given to the Turn It Around teen group to use at a later date.